WASHINGTON, DC - While there have been talks of a border security deal that would stop a second shutdown, nothing has been signed yet. Lawmakers have until late Friday night to get a deal signed.
Representatives from the American Federation of Government Employees are in Washington DC this week, including the president of AFGE Local 1858, based in Huntsville.
AFGE Local 1858 represents approximately 10,000 employees who work at Redstone Arsenal, including a portion of NASA employees. Those NASA employees could be affected if there is another partial government shutdown. AFGE Local 1858 President, Abner Merriweather, says he hopes that doesn't happen.
"I still have to remain optimistic along with my other union leaders," he said. "We have to remain optimistic about this because we cannot survive, these employees who are impacted cannot survive another devastating shutdown."
The partial shutdown that ended in January was the longest in the country's history. For more than 30 days, thousands of federal employees were furloughed or worked without pay. Merriweather says leaders from the American Federation of Government Employees have joined together to voice one message to Congress.
"No shutdown," he stated. "I mean the impact is going to be huge. You know, the first shutdown was huge. It was setting employees back and some of them like I said years with no means of paying the bills, no means of paying daycare child support, and all that other stuff."
Merriweather says the union is working to meet with every lawmaker in DC over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday.
Leaders from AFGE meet annually. Their event this year happened to fall on the week of the shutdown deadline and they are taking advantage of the opportunity to talk to top lawmakers.